The Gorge began to form over three million years ago when trickles of water slowly began to carve a canyon out of the solid granite bedrock. Today those trickles are known as the Arkansas, one of America’s longest flowing rivers. To this day, the Arkansas River carves around one foot into the magnificent Gorge every 2,500 years.
The Royal Gorge Bridge & Park Today
Since opening in 1929, the Gorge has seen over 25 million visitors. Not only has America’s highest suspension bridge, constructed in 1929, caught the eye of many tourists, but other attractions established over the years have made a visit to the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park priceless. Climb aboard an open-air trolley and see what makes the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park a world wonder and leading tourist destination.
The Plaza Theater
Start your Royal Gorge Bridge & Park adventure off at the Plaza Theater. Here a 13-minute video presentation will take you on a journey through time where you can learn about everything from the historic Royal Gorge War to the brave men who envisioned and built the Royal Gorge Bridge.
Climb aboard one of the Gorge’s open-air trolleys. Circling the perimeter of the park, see the highlights of the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park from the comfort of a trolley, it’s the perfect combination of an outdoor adventure, the Wild West and small-town hospitality.
The Royal Bridge
Built in 1929 for $350,000, today the Royal Bridge is worth over $15 million. Stretching 880 ft long, high above the Arkansas River, dare to venture across the Royal Bridge.
At a 45-degree angle, Incline Railway is one of the world’s steepest railways and one of the most complex structures ever built. Head to the depths of the canyon floor, after descending 1,500 ft, step off the car and feel the spray of the wild Arkansas River on your face. Looking up, the Royal Bridge will look like a thin rope cutting through the clouds.
In 1968, almost 40 years after the Incline Railway was built, one of the world’s longest single span trams was constructed. Gliding 1,178 ft above the Arkansas River, the tram travels at a normal speed of 8 mile per hour and offers guests breathtaking views of the nature that surrounds the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park.
Wapiti Western Wildlife Park
Watch as the native Colorado wildlife interacts in their natural habitat. This fascinating 10-acre exhibit is home to white American Bison, Rocky Mountain Elk and while rarely seen by visitors, the Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep.
The Visitor’s Center
After seeing the wonders of the Gorge, stop by the Visitor’s Center. Its wrap-around deck offers spectacular views of the park’s natural attractions. Shops and restaurants can also be found in the Visitor’s Center.
Shopping at Royal Gorge Bridge & Park
Shops scattered throughout the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park offer visitors the perfect shopping experience. While the Visitor’s Center and Stryker Rich Trading Post offer necessities like cold drinks and disposable cameras, you can find unusual gifts and keepsakes in shops like Royal Village Shirts and Tattoos, Colorado Country Shop and Prospector Pan.
Rejuvenate at one of the Gorge’s restaurants. If your craving American classics like grilled burgers the Cliff Terrace has just what you are looking for and can be found on the South rim of the Royal Gorge. Hickory smoked beef brisket, smoked chicken with signature BBQ sauce and other speciality entrées can be found in the Royal Grill just inside the Visitor’s Center. By the Royal Gorge Bridge, the Pizza & Sub Garden serves a variety of sandwiches, pizzas and other light options.
-Wheelchairs are provided at no extra cost and can be found at the Main Gate. It is important you let your reservations agent know ahead of time if you or someone in your party is handicapped, so that they can make sure to accommodate you in the most convenient and comfortable setting.
-Ensure you wear appropriate clothing and footwear. You will be doing a lot of walking and spending much of your time outdoors during your visit to the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park.
-Don’t forget your camera! From the panoramic views of the surrounding area to the natural wonders at the Gorge, there will be moments you want to capture during your time in the park.